This paper aims to contribute to the theorisation of effective teacher development (TD) provision in a reform context. Based on a literature review, the paper identifies key reform features, i.e., ambiguity and conflict generation, that shape teachers' engagement with pedagogic reforms and suggests a framework for designing TD programmes that address reform-specific needs. It then explores the utility of this heuristic framework through an in-depth case study of implementation of, and perceptions about, eight reforms in two schools in Hong Kong. The case study confirmed that customising the TD provision to perceived reform characteristics could contribute to teachers' positive perceptions of and experience with reforms. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.